Running Time: 105 minutes
Starring: Jason Statham, Tyrese Gibson, Joan Allen
Directed By: Paul W.S. Anderson
Rating: 4 out of 10
A group of prison inmates are in a race for their freedom but have to stay alive long enough to enjoy it.
As mindless as a movie can get, Death Race has a story resembling a cheesy video game. The film reminded me of the old video game Spy Hunter mixed with the video game Twisted Metal and voila, you have Death Race. Led by the most over exposed actor in Hollywood, (Jason Statham) the film tries to have some semblance of lead in that is just laughable. Director Paul W.S. Anderson known for his video game movies such as Resident Evil or DOA, seems to have taken the video game filming style to heart, and for the most part it did not work. The setting is in the future where the world’s economy is in shambles, and the populace’s favorite sport is death racing. It involves prison inmates racing fortified vehicles. They have to travel around a track, gathering weapons and trying to kill one another. Pretty intense plot if you ask me and I was surprised the Coen brothers were not asked to direct this film. Statham is a newly arrived inmate, and he is forced to race for his freedom against a group of men known for their racing and killing prowess. The dialogue is atrocious and the plot is non-existent. The film just carries on from scene to scene with no real build up. Statham is playing Jensen Ames in this, and he has to survive in the prison as well on the track. You will not care if he dies five minutes into this film. His main rival is Machine Gun Joe Mason played by one dimensional actor Tyrese Gibson. Gibson shows that he should never have left the Britney Spears music video scene as he is awful. The film centers around three main races for a fight for your life. Each race is extraordinarily long, and after each one you cannot believe the film can possibly keep going. To be fair, the races are quite entertaining in a mindless shoot em up kind of way. Things explode, people get killed, and cars end up as twisted wrecks all for the viewers pleasure. I forgot to mention that the inmate racers have navigators that sit beside them. Of course the navigators are women, and apparently are from the prison for the ridiculously good looking and scantily clad. Not that I am complaining, but at least try for an iota of credibility in your film. The prison warden played by Joan Allen, shows that roles must be drying up for older women in Hollywood. She plays a stern and unbending prison warden, and it was a complete stretch. The ending in this is also expected and will shock no one in its outcome. Bottom line is that I could complain all day about this film, but I do not want to keep going in circles like this film did. It is mindless action with things blowing up, and if that is what you want from a film then you should check this movie out. I cannot recommend this film as the ultra thin plot and lack of character development was as deadly as the races.
T Factor + If you like mindless action then this could score higher on the rating scale.
T Factor - If you expect to see Jason Statham at his best then this could score lower on the rating scale.
If you liked this film reel recommendations: Torque, Or The Fast and the Furious.